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Hungarian raspberries and blackberries may eventually disappear

Due to climatic conditions, labour shortages and Polish and Serbian competition, the production of some berries may eventually be abandoned in Hungary.

In the 1980's, a total of 40-60 thousand tonnes of raspberries were produced each year, and the acreage stood at 1,200 to 1,400 hectares. Later, in the turn of the millennium, the production had fallen to between 10 and 15 thousand tonnes. Today, only 600-800 tonnes of raspberries are grown in about 100 hectares," said the Vice President of the Hungarian Fruit and Vegetable Interprofessional Organization and Product Council (FruitVeB).

One of the reasons for this drastic decline has been the changing climatic conditions over the last ten to fifteen years, which has resulted in areas no longer being suitable for the production of berries, including raspberries, blackberries and black currants. These fruits cannot withstand hot, dry and droughty summers. Also, with the combination of warm and wet weather, raspberries and blackberries become more vulnerable to the spread of certain diseases.

The situation is further exacerbated by the shortage of labour. Raspberries and blackberries require 3-4 thousand hours of labour per hectare, while arable crops only need 10-20 hours, and apples just 500-800 hours. In addition, growers can only offer a few months' work, and in periods that are too far apart, explains Ferenc Apáti.

Red currant tolerates the weather a little better, so it seems that those plantations may still remain. In the case of this fruit, the lack of labour is not really a cause for much concern, as it can be harvested with a machine.


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